Swissintell keeps growing in Zurich! With an event on 11 September, we continued our new Zurich-based series of meetings titled “The Next Big Thing”. Every three months, we meet to discuss how to identify, monitor, and respond to those trends that will shape or disrupt business in the decade ahead.
Our second meeting took place at the Ema House hotel. The meeting consisted of three parts. The first part was led by Aleksandra Bielska, our Zurich area manager. Aleksandra began by reminding the participants of the association’s goals, our vision and activities. She then explained the importance of emerging technologies to the field of competitive intelligence. In particular, she referred to the impact of these technologies on business environment, organizations, Competitive Intelligence discipline, and ourselves.
The second part was led by German Ramirez, social media and blockchain pioneer, book author and co-founder at the Relevance House. German talked about the development of the blockchain technology and the problems that currently affect the field. He stressed that many claims about blockchain should not be taken at face value and reminded us of the importance of focusing on the utility of blockchain-based solutions and not on the “buzz” that the technology generates. He looked at the relevance of blockchain-enabled products and services through the prism of three pillars: value, visibility and credibility. He also provided us with a list of mistakes to avoid and good practices to follow when adopting blockchain-based solutions. German ended his presentation stressing that a complete paradigm shift is needed to change the established standards.
Augmented Reality (AR) was the focus of the last part of the meeting. Robert Adelmann, a former researcher at ETH and MIT and a co-founder at Scandit presented a brief history of AR before he elaborated on the current state of the art. He described how AR could be used in industries as disparate as maintenance, logistics and education. He used short videos to illustrate relevant use cases. He specifically mentioned the growing popularity of AR-based mobile applications that allow customers to virtually place products in their environment and, hence, reduce the risk of purchasing something that does not fit or that the customer does not like.
Optimistic that the virtual and the real world are merging, Robert concluded his presentation with an outlook into the future evolution of AR. After the traditional question and answer session, the meeting concluded with its participants engaging in a long discussion over a glass of wine.